Practicing Zoning/Footsies?

So I’ve read the handbook, I understand footsies and zoning and how it’s applied when watching matches, I know that John Choi is a fucking god.
What I don’t know is how to efficiently utilize my time/points in order to practice it.

What I’ve been doing is playing ranked matches (it’s quicker to get a match), not jumping and just trying to learn the safe/non safe ranges of throwing fireballs and when to throw an unsafe fireball. I usually just get jumped on though.

What I’m worried about is whether or not I’m wasting my time/points using this method for practice. Is my method efficient? Is there something else I should be doing? I stopped trying to practice footsies with the CPU as I can always get them to jump into a kara uppercut or HK step kick and they just read my buttons and out footsie me on the ground.

utilizing points? what are you talking about?

it sounds like you’re worried that you’re wasting your time just cause you’re failing at it, but you are practicing things correctly. lots of the time its more important to practice a specific skill in matches instead of just going for the win.

That’s good to hear. I didn’t want to be failing at something that wouldn’t be beneficial to me in the long run. as far as the points thing…

I use my PP as currency.

What I’ll do is spend my PP in order to try out different tactics on better players. I can’t really play the jump/don’t jump mid range mind game with players that are just going to jump in anyway. So if I’m going to spend PP, I have to make sure it’s worth it.

If I’m playing to win I’ll play endless and try to stay on as long as possible.

Any time spent practicing the fundamentals and basics is time well-spent. I would argue that practice pointlessly advanced combos in training mode when you can’t pull off basic ones, is a complete waste of time.

Learning to deal with getting jumped on is a part of zoning. They’re invading the top half of your zone, and it’s up to you to learn how to defend properly against jump attacks. Usually the answer is any choice of your anti-airs that your character can use.

You can most definitely practice footsies and zoning against the CPU, but whenever possible, it’s preferable to play against a live player. Not only does this teach the basic zoning practices, but it also helps you to learn how to identity player styles and tendencies, and how best to adapt your game to combat that style. Even against a high-level CPU (and sf4’s difficult curve is FAR more lenient than in other games), you can practice fundamentals. Smart zoning is the one where your opponent cannot get around your options, even if they’re able to predict or read it.

PP is nothing more than a number. Don’t treat it as anything other than such. You learn more from a loss than you do from a win. Regardless of the match results, the goal is to always study and learn from your mistakes, weaknesses, as well as your strengths and high-points during a mach.

@elftrouble I was looking for zoning tips on Youtube and I stumbled on your ST vids way before I posted this lol. Fucking awesome. I knew I saw your name from somewhere.

I’ve been studying those ST vids since this afternoon. I assume if anything will teach me fundamentals then that will

Thanks. I’m somewhat surprised you stumbled on those vids, lol.

Yeah, the raw basics apply, since fundamentals are fundamentals. Nothing in that video is too ST-specific, other than perhaps the ranges that I’m using. SF4 works under the same principles, although the range at which your opponent can react to a fireball, jump, and punish you, is a lot closer in SF4.